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Old 10-08-2013, 10:48 AM   #1
ukintheus
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Wandering the Gulf on the Wonder-Inaugural Bahamas-Galveston 9/28/13 - COMPLETE

Hello to anyone that might follow along as I attempt to make this a fairly short (I say that now...but I am not the best at using one word when ten will do ) trip report of our Inaugural sailing on the Disney Wonder from Galveston to the Bahamas. This trip was a “bonus” trip for us in that it wasn’t one of our planned trips, but I had been browsing the DCL site and found too good of a price to pass up, especially given that DCL are leaving Galveston and so our opportunity for great prices and convenience is closing in on us! Also, this time around it was just DH and I, and I had promised him that it would be more of a relaxed trip with no real plans to speak of and more of a go-with-the-flow type of vacation. I did plan a Palo brunch and dinner ahead of time, but eating is a necessity and so I don’t consider those real plans.

We live just outside of Houston and are both working bees with no kiddos, which equals lots of vacations.
This is us – the happy vacationers.



Coming up....Pre-Cruise yumminess in Galveston.
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Wandering The Gulf on the Wonder - Inaugural Bahamas Cruise Trip Report
Magic Your Way to the Magic Kingdom...another Galveston trip report
Our Magical Trip From The Lone Star State - Oct 13, 2012

Jenny & Scott
2000-POFQ, 2005-FW, 2006-FW, 2008-FW, Feb 2009-CBR/POFQ, Sept 2009-ASM,2010 BWI/WL/AKL/DCL Magic Western, July 2011 BWI/DCL Dream, Nov 2011 FW/AKL, May 2012 GF/DCL Fantasy-Eastern/BWI, Oct 2012 DCL Magic-Western, Feb 2013 DCL Magic-Cozumel, Apr 2013 DCL Magic-CC/WDW/KW, Sept 2013 - DCL Wonder-Bahamas, Dec 2013 - DCL Wonder-NYE-Cozumel, March 2014 - DCL Magic-4 night, Patiently waiting for: Nov 2014-Dream, Nov 2015- DCL Wonder B2B-Western & Bahamas-Galveston, DCL Wonder 2015 NYE Cruise-Bahamas-Galveston

Last edited by ukintheus; 10-16-2013 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:56 AM   #2
ukintheus
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Friday, September 27th – Pre-Cruise

So a few weeks before our cruise, both of us started to ponder the idea of staying in Galveston overnight. Even though we live less than 2 hours away, it is a really nice way to officially be DONE with work and start the vacation just those few hours sooner and that's always a good thing.

We ended up going back to Harbor House at the Pier, even though we have stayed there the past couple of times. The decision was an easy one in the end because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would want to be up bright and early to watch the Wonder sail in for the first time, and DH knew without a shadow of a doubt, that he would not!! At Harbor House you have a view of the cruise ship channel from your room, and so it was a great way to compromise. The shrimp festival was going on in Galveston that weekend so when we arrived there were several roads blocked off, but nothing that was too difficult to navigate around. First stop was to park near the Strand area and head to La Kings Confectionary. This is where the pre-cruise yumminess began. This was the first time we had been here and it was AWESOME I highly recommend it. We decided that life was too short for lunch and moved right on to sundaes and chocolates instead.

My strawberry sundae


The counter where said sundaes are made...incidentally DH got hot fudge and it was equally awesome.


Counter of yumminess....this is all handmade chocolates. If it were not for the fact that we had 7 nights of overindulging ahead of us on the cruise, I would have gone crazy here. As it was we got one peanut butter cup and some milk chocolate covered caramels with sea salt.



After stuffing ourselves we decided we needed to check into the hotel before the inevitable sugar crash. I had ended up having to pay rack rate at Harbor House by the time we had dithered about with booking but they did upgrade us to a suite which was right at the end of the building and had several windows, so we were happy that we at least got a nicer room for the higher price.

We had some happy hour drinks at a couple of nearby restaurants and just ordered an appetizer in each one, then went to bed at about 10 pm to await the arrival of the Wonder early the next morning.

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Wandering The Gulf on the Wonder - Inaugural Bahamas Cruise Trip Report
Magic Your Way to the Magic Kingdom...another Galveston trip report
Our Magical Trip From The Lone Star State - Oct 13, 2012

Jenny & Scott
2000-POFQ, 2005-FW, 2006-FW, 2008-FW, Feb 2009-CBR/POFQ, Sept 2009-ASM,2010 BWI/WL/AKL/DCL Magic Western, July 2011 BWI/DCL Dream, Nov 2011 FW/AKL, May 2012 GF/DCL Fantasy-Eastern/BWI, Oct 2012 DCL Magic-Western, Feb 2013 DCL Magic-Cozumel, Apr 2013 DCL Magic-CC/WDW/KW, Sept 2013 - DCL Wonder-Bahamas, Dec 2013 - DCL Wonder-NYE-Cozumel, March 2014 - DCL Magic-4 night, Patiently waiting for: Nov 2014-Dream, Nov 2015- DCL Wonder B2B-Western & Bahamas-Galveston, DCL Wonder 2015 NYE Cruise-Bahamas-Galveston

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Old 10-08-2013, 11:15 AM   #3
ukintheus
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Saturday - Arrival of the Wonder

At just before 6 am the Wonder showed up on Marine Tracker and so I sat peering through the window of our hotel room to wait for her. There were a few people outside waiting as well.



At 6:10 am she was showing as turning into the channel.



Of course it was pitch black dark, and it was hard to pick her out from all the lights but I finally got a glimpse of the two red stacks in the distance. I should mention that Mr. Imnotgettingupforthat was also sitting in the window with his camera at the ready.

This picture is of her turning before backing the rest of the way in.



Backing past us





Name lit up, hopefully this shows up OK on here - it's kind of hard to see




After some maneuvering she finally made it to port. We got dressed and headed out to Starbucks to get some go-juice running the system. As we got back it had just turned daylight and we went to the dock by the hotel to get some better pictures. While we were there we were pleasantly surprised to meet a fellow Diser “Sullins5” who was also out doing some Wonder-watching. It’s always so nice to put faces to names and we enjoyed a chat for a little while.





We had already planned to go and eat breakfast somewhere and ended up at Denny’s on the seawall. We had arranged to pick up Sullins5 on our way back from breakfast and drop her off at the port as she was dealing with the rental car/shuttle/parking nightmare that has sadly become the bane of Galveston sailings for a lot of people flying in. I think we got to the port about 11 am or thereabouts and dropped our luggage and then went off to find Lighthouse Parking. Their system was easy and they told us that as we had no luggage we could get on the Carnival shuttle bus to port. Our plan was to just get off at the Carnival terminal and take the short walk down to the DCL terminal, but the shuttle driver was convinced that he needed to show us where they would pick us up, so by the time we had waited for all of the Carnival luggage and people to be offloaded and then get to the DCL terminal it was just gone 11:30 am.
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Wandering The Gulf on the Wonder - Inaugural Bahamas Cruise Trip Report
Magic Your Way to the Magic Kingdom...another Galveston trip report
Our Magical Trip From The Lone Star State - Oct 13, 2012

Jenny & Scott
2000-POFQ, 2005-FW, 2006-FW, 2008-FW, Feb 2009-CBR/POFQ, Sept 2009-ASM,2010 BWI/WL/AKL/DCL Magic Western, July 2011 BWI/DCL Dream, Nov 2011 FW/AKL, May 2012 GF/DCL Fantasy-Eastern/BWI, Oct 2012 DCL Magic-Western, Feb 2013 DCL Magic-Cozumel, Apr 2013 DCL Magic-CC/WDW/KW, Sept 2013 - DCL Wonder-Bahamas, Dec 2013 - DCL Wonder-NYE-Cozumel, March 2014 - DCL Magic-4 night, Patiently waiting for: Nov 2014-Dream, Nov 2015- DCL Wonder B2B-Western & Bahamas-Galveston, DCL Wonder 2015 NYE Cruise-Bahamas-Galveston
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
CatDenver
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Just subscribed. I was hoping you'd do a trip report. Your report link is posted to our Oct 26 Facebook group because we're all in planning overload now and reading everything we can get our hands on about Galveston, the Wonder, the itinerary, etc!
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Disney HalloWonder Bahamian Cruise - Oct 26, 2013
Pre-trip Report The Yours Mine and Ours Mystery Tour
Trip Report We Are Family (I've got all my children with me) HalloWonder Trip Report
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:43 AM   #5
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YEY! I am excited to read this. We are on the Dec 14th Bahamian cruise so I am waiting on tenderhooks for updates
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:48 AM   #6
ukintheus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UmmGooD View Post
YEY! I am excited to read this. We are on the Dec 14th Bahamian cruise so I am waiting on tenderhooks for updates
Hi there! I hope that Hwy 290 is kind to you for your trip - they had it shut down both weekends that we travelled to port. Just a heads up to you that they have tons of construction on it, if you are heading down that way, be sure to check www.houstontranstar.org for closures.
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Wandering The Gulf on the Wonder - Inaugural Bahamas Cruise Trip Report
Magic Your Way to the Magic Kingdom...another Galveston trip report
Our Magical Trip From The Lone Star State - Oct 13, 2012

Jenny & Scott
2000-POFQ, 2005-FW, 2006-FW, 2008-FW, Feb 2009-CBR/POFQ, Sept 2009-ASM,2010 BWI/WL/AKL/DCL Magic Western, July 2011 BWI/DCL Dream, Nov 2011 FW/AKL, May 2012 GF/DCL Fantasy-Eastern/BWI, Oct 2012 DCL Magic-Western, Feb 2013 DCL Magic-Cozumel, Apr 2013 DCL Magic-CC/WDW/KW, Sept 2013 - DCL Wonder-Bahamas, Dec 2013 - DCL Wonder-NYE-Cozumel, March 2014 - DCL Magic-4 night, Patiently waiting for: Nov 2014-Dream, Nov 2015- DCL Wonder B2B-Western & Bahamas-Galveston, DCL Wonder 2015 NYE Cruise-Bahamas-Galveston
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:46 AM   #7
ukintheus
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Welcome and thanks for following along...en masse no less! I decided to try and get this done, and try to get it done fairly quickly and with as much "stuff" in there that I can think of that might be helpful to others.

The planning is so much fun, especially when you are getting close!
__________________
Wandering The Gulf on the Wonder - Inaugural Bahamas Cruise Trip Report
Magic Your Way to the Magic Kingdom...another Galveston trip report
Our Magical Trip From The Lone Star State - Oct 13, 2012

Jenny & Scott
2000-POFQ, 2005-FW, 2006-FW, 2008-FW, Feb 2009-CBR/POFQ, Sept 2009-ASM,2010 BWI/WL/AKL/DCL Magic Western, July 2011 BWI/DCL Dream, Nov 2011 FW/AKL, May 2012 GF/DCL Fantasy-Eastern/BWI, Oct 2012 DCL Magic-Western, Feb 2013 DCL Magic-Cozumel, Apr 2013 DCL Magic-CC/WDW/KW, Sept 2013 - DCL Wonder-Bahamas, Dec 2013 - DCL Wonder-NYE-Cozumel, March 2014 - DCL Magic-4 night, Patiently waiting for: Nov 2014-Dream, Nov 2015- DCL Wonder B2B-Western & Bahamas-Galveston, DCL Wonder 2015 NYE Cruise-Bahamas-Galveston
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukintheus View Post


While we were there we were pleasantly surprised to meet a fellow Diser “Sullins5” who was also out doing some Wonder-watching. It’s always so nice to put faces to names and we enjoyed a chat for a little while.
We had already planned to go and eat breakfast somewhere and ended up at Denny’s on the seawall. We had arranged to pick up Sullins5 on our way back from breakfast and drop her off at the port as she was dealing with the rental car/shuttle/parking nightmare that has sadly become the bane of Galveston sailings for a lot of people flying in.
Nothing like a perfect stranger coming up to you and asking if you are "unkintheus" huh? Not sure what I would've done had you said "What are you talking about?" But it was fun meeting another Dis'er!!!

What she means by "arranged to pick up" is that they generously offered to come get me at Hotel Galvez and bring me to the port, in lieu of me grabbing a cab! They were the sweetest things, and what a kind gesture! And she is SO right! Transportation from Hou to Galveston, and arranging hotel shuttles can be a pain! Thanks Jenny and Scott for everything!

And lovin' your Trip Report!
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:14 PM   #9
dreamcat78
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Im IN

Im IN ...Cat let us know about this thread in our HalloWonder group sailing out of TX on the 26th of this month!! Great report so far Even though I am traveling with my kids i am loving your trip w/O kids it is nice to see all the things we can check out for alone adult time!
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:42 AM   #10
ukintheus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sullins5 View Post
Nothing like a perfect stranger coming up to you and asking if you are "unkintheus" huh? Not sure what I would've done had you said "What are you talking about?" But it was fun meeting another Dis'er!!!

What she means by "arranged to pick up" is that they generously offered to come get me at Hotel Galvez and bring me to the port, in lieu of me grabbing a cab! They were the sweetest things, and what a kind gesture! And she is SO right! Transportation from Hou to Galveston, and arranging hotel shuttles can be a pain! Thanks Jenny and Scott for everything!

And lovin' your Trip Report!
To be honest I was a bit suprised! The Disboard group had been so quiet and I hadn't joined the FB group so I was expecting to not meet anybody this time. I always believe things work out for a reason - we were more than happy to pick you up seeing as we were driving RIGHT by!! We ended up giving the Firefighter a lift back to Hobby too after the cruise!! It's pretty bad when guests are having to fill the gaps because DCL doesn't have transport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamcat78 View Post
Im IN ...Cat let us know about this thread in our HalloWonder group sailing out of TX on the 26th of this month!! Great report so far Even though I am traveling with my kids i am loving your trip w/O kids it is nice to see all the things we can check out for alone adult time!
Hello and welcome! You guys have a very active group going so I know that your halloween cruise is going to be awesome!! I bet they do extra stuff on the actual Halloween cruise over and above the party stuff they did on ours.
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Wandering The Gulf on the Wonder - Inaugural Bahamas Cruise Trip Report
Magic Your Way to the Magic Kingdom...another Galveston trip report
Our Magical Trip From The Lone Star State - Oct 13, 2012

Jenny & Scott
2000-POFQ, 2005-FW, 2006-FW, 2008-FW, Feb 2009-CBR/POFQ, Sept 2009-ASM,2010 BWI/WL/AKL/DCL Magic Western, July 2011 BWI/DCL Dream, Nov 2011 FW/AKL, May 2012 GF/DCL Fantasy-Eastern/BWI, Oct 2012 DCL Magic-Western, Feb 2013 DCL Magic-Cozumel, Apr 2013 DCL Magic-CC/WDW/KW, Sept 2013 - DCL Wonder-Bahamas, Dec 2013 - DCL Wonder-NYE-Cozumel, March 2014 - DCL Magic-4 night, Patiently waiting for: Nov 2014-Dream, Nov 2015- DCL Wonder B2B-Western & Bahamas-Galveston, DCL Wonder 2015 NYE Cruise-Bahamas-Galveston
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:04 PM   #11
dreamcat78
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I love all the costumes thank you for sharing!!! Who won and which costume for the disney category? One more question how hot were your temperatures? You said you got sunburnt? Sorry that really stinks
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:17 PM   #12
ukintheus
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I love all the costumes thank you for sharing!!! Who won and which costume for the disney category? One more question how hot were your temperatures? You said you got sunburnt? Sorry that really stinks
This was the group for the Disney category. Even the host, Simon, said something about allowing Fiona from Shrek (Dreamworks) in there. The Fairy Godmother won.



The sunburn was my fault. I put sunblock on everything except my face and neck as I had used my moisturizer that has SPF 30 in it, not thinking that we would be riding the bikes and be out and about for an hour or so. Plus there were bits that I missed completely! We thought the temperatures were great, in the mid to high 80's most days.
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Wandering The Gulf on the Wonder - Inaugural Bahamas Cruise Trip Report
Magic Your Way to the Magic Kingdom...another Galveston trip report
Our Magical Trip From The Lone Star State - Oct 13, 2012

Jenny & Scott
2000-POFQ, 2005-FW, 2006-FW, 2008-FW, Feb 2009-CBR/POFQ, Sept 2009-ASM,2010 BWI/WL/AKL/DCL Magic Western, July 2011 BWI/DCL Dream, Nov 2011 FW/AKL, May 2012 GF/DCL Fantasy-Eastern/BWI, Oct 2012 DCL Magic-Western, Feb 2013 DCL Magic-Cozumel, Apr 2013 DCL Magic-CC/WDW/KW, Sept 2013 - DCL Wonder-Bahamas, Dec 2013 - DCL Wonder-NYE-Cozumel, March 2014 - DCL Magic-4 night, Patiently waiting for: Nov 2014-Dream, Nov 2015- DCL Wonder B2B-Western & Bahamas-Galveston, DCL Wonder 2015 NYE Cruise-Bahamas-Galveston
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:21 PM   #13
ukintheus
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I thought I'd also mention that they now have life vests for the kids by the pools. (I think this is new, right??) They are the soft foam type that clip at the front, and they have various sizes. I didn't think to take a photo at the time, but they have them on racks towards the outside of the pool areas. I did go through our photos to see if I had happened to catch them in a random photo, but I didn't.
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Wandering The Gulf on the Wonder - Inaugural Bahamas Cruise Trip Report
Magic Your Way to the Magic Kingdom...another Galveston trip report
Our Magical Trip From The Lone Star State - Oct 13, 2012

Jenny & Scott
2000-POFQ, 2005-FW, 2006-FW, 2008-FW, Feb 2009-CBR/POFQ, Sept 2009-ASM,2010 BWI/WL/AKL/DCL Magic Western, July 2011 BWI/DCL Dream, Nov 2011 FW/AKL, May 2012 GF/DCL Fantasy-Eastern/BWI, Oct 2012 DCL Magic-Western, Feb 2013 DCL Magic-Cozumel, Apr 2013 DCL Magic-CC/WDW/KW, Sept 2013 - DCL Wonder-Bahamas, Dec 2013 - DCL Wonder-NYE-Cozumel, March 2014 - DCL Magic-4 night, Patiently waiting for: Nov 2014-Dream, Nov 2015- DCL Wonder B2B-Western & Bahamas-Galveston, DCL Wonder 2015 NYE Cruise-Bahamas-Galveston
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:49 PM   #14
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How long did your dinners typically last?
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:59 PM   #15
ukintheus
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How long did your dinners typically last?
It was just the two of us, so usually about 1 1/2 hours unless we were the ones that dragged it out longer. When we went with friends earlier in the year and there were six of us it was 2 hours.
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Wandering The Gulf on the Wonder - Inaugural Bahamas Cruise Trip Report
Magic Your Way to the Magic Kingdom...another Galveston trip report
Our Magical Trip From The Lone Star State - Oct 13, 2012

Jenny & Scott
2000-POFQ, 2005-FW, 2006-FW, 2008-FW, Feb 2009-CBR/POFQ, Sept 2009-ASM,2010 BWI/WL/AKL/DCL Magic Western, July 2011 BWI/DCL Dream, Nov 2011 FW/AKL, May 2012 GF/DCL Fantasy-Eastern/BWI, Oct 2012 DCL Magic-Western, Feb 2013 DCL Magic-Cozumel, Apr 2013 DCL Magic-CC/WDW/KW, Sept 2013 - DCL Wonder-Bahamas, Dec 2013 - DCL Wonder-NYE-Cozumel, March 2014 - DCL Magic-4 night, Patiently waiting for: Nov 2014-Dream, Nov 2015- DCL Wonder B2B-Western & Bahamas-Galveston, DCL Wonder 2015 NYE Cruise-Bahamas-Galveston
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